For the last 6 years, the Irish OSM community has been manually tracing Ireland’s smallest administrative boundaries, townlands, from scanned maps from the 1830s and 1840s. We’ll explain how we’re doing it, what tech we needed, and how you get people to stare at really old maps for hours on end.
We will explore the reasons why this project seemed to catch the imagination of mappers in Ireland and elsewhere. Some of the reasons may be specific to this project - the nature of what was being mapped is in the DNA of many Irish residents! But much is of value more widely, indicating structures and support which maximise engagement and produce accurate and effectively mapping.